The Palliative Medicine program, headed by Leslie Blackhall, MD, MTS, and part of the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center, was named a Palliative Care Leadership Center in September 2015 by the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC).
Palliative Care at UVA
Palliative care as a medical specialty focuses on maximizing quality of life during serious illness through relief of the pain, symptoms and stress that patients commonly experience. Unlike hospice, it is delivered at the same time as all other appropriate treatments for the disease. Palliative care leads to better quality of care and lower total medical costs, and is appropriate for patients of any age or any stage of a serious illness.
Palliative medicine physicians see patients at the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center and at an outpatient clinic located in the UVA Cancer Center on the 4th floor of the Hospital West Complex; they also provide consults, and see patients, at UVA Hospital, in its dedicated Palliative Care Unit and other medical units. Some patients under their care remain at home and are followed by a local hospice program.
Palliative Care Inpatient Unit
The Palliative Care Inpatient Unit is a seven-bed dedicated inpatient unit where patients requiring acute symptom management are cared for by the palliative team. Care is provided for physical symptoms such as pain, breathing difficulty, and infection, as well as for emotional, social and spiritual needs. Patients who are actively dying can also spend their last days on the unit and receive the support of the staff. Families are welcome to stay 24 hours a day and there is no age limit for visitors.
The palliative team sees patients at the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center (ECCC). Patients can schedule appointments by calling 434-924-9333 and letting the operator know they wish to make an appointment with a UVA palliative care provider.
Palliative Care Learning Center Training
For institutions interested in developing or expanding outpatient palliative care, training programs are available at the University of Virginia. Please contact Christina Hamill at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.